Friday, January 26, 2007

Getting Fiscal on a First Date: Sweet Talking Money

How fiscal can you get on a first date? Apparently, there's a lot of bases to cover when it comes to money and hearts. That's the word from Bambi Holzer, author of the new book: "FINANCIAL BLISS: A Couple's Guide to Merging Money Styles and Building a Rich Life Together" (AMACOM, January '07).

Bambi argues that every couple needs to set up a "Financial First Date."

Here are some of her ground rules, with my own comments tossed in:

-- 1. Respect differences: Look for common ground while appreciating each other's differences.

Frugal Duchess comment: But watch out for major Grand Canyon-style differences. In college, I once dated someone with views about money, gender roles, finance & household chores that were miles apart from my views. Differences that were charming at first, became really annoying.

-- 2. Speak naturally: Like any first date, you want the conversation to flow naturally and spring from issues and ideas that matter strongly to you. Don't try to trump your partner by talking like Alan Greenspan.

- 3. Don't fall into the common-interest trap: Avoid the joyful "You like tomatoes? I like tomatoes, too!" response to superficial points of common interest that first daters fall into. A false sense of commonality can poison a relationship.

Frugal Duchess: That's a good point. I've been a girl parrot and that's not smart.

-- 4. Compromise, compromise, compromise: Just because one of you voiced an opinion or has strong feelings about something doesn't mean that the other must or will give in or tiptoe around an issue. Workable compromises are still necessary in order to make your partnership more solid and your financial life more effective.

Frugal Duchess: Compromise, but don't sell out your soul.

-- 5. There are no winners and losers: Winning an argument is not the objective here, there are no right answers, just workable compromises.

-- 6. Listen up: Show that you're listening and that what your partner is saying is important to you.

Frugal Duchess: From interviews to dates, I wish that I had listened more and talked less. And I've learned to listen to silence also.

I recommend studying these clues/issues:

1. How does your date tip?
2. When was the last time your date went shopping?
3. How do they feel about thrift stores?
4. How often does your date eat out?
5. Would they buy jewelry at Costco or a pawn shop?
6. Where do they buy books?
7. How much do they spend on holidays?
8. Do they like garage sales?
9. How much money do they donate to charity?
10. What's their favorite vacation spot?

Earlier I also featured a post about questions to ask before getting married.


The Frugal Duchess Boutique


hustlermoneyblog said...

wow..haha..this is the one time when I'm a balla! rule #1, spend spend spend on first date at all cost.

Frugal Duchess: Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Cute! Thanks for the comment.